A SELF-MADE millionaire who grew up in Gibraltar is at the centre of a criminal investigation after investors claim to have lost £70 million.
Real estate developer Anthony Armstrong Emery, 37, collected payments of around £20,000 from Gibraltarian, British and Spanish investors for his Brazilian EcoHouse scheme.
Brazilian police are now investigating the EcoHouse Group for money laundering and tax evasion.
The scheme collapsed in October and many now fear their money ‘will be gone forever’.
A British victim who invested £23,000, said she was promised a 20% return on her money over one year.
She said: “For the first few months, it all went well. I got a regular newsletters and the website was always up-to-date.
“When I realised I hadn’t heard anything for a few weeks I tried to call the office number but there was no answer.”
Other investors confirm they have been unable to contact EcoHouse since their UK-based office, in Richmond, was cleared out in October.
Born in West London, Emery – who is thought to have homes in the UK, Italy, Monaco and Brazil – made his fortune by selling homes to expats in Spain and Gibraltar in the early 2000s.
In 2013, he bought a 98-year-old football team in Brazil, along with struggling Italian football club Monza Brianza.
Emery’s links with Brazil go back to his grandfather, who worked there as a telecoms technician.